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Children Orphaned by Covid to be Enrolled in Central, Navodaya and Sainik Schools: HP Govt

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Shimla-The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated families and has orphaned thousands of children. At least 577 children across the country were orphaned by COVID-19 between April 1 and May 25 alone, according to Women and Child Development Ministry.  At least seven children were orphaned by Covid in Himachal Pradesh till May 18, 2021. The worsen the situation, illegal adoptions are posing another risk of exposing these children to abuse and exploitation. 

Such children “are not only living an emotional tragedy, but they are also at high risk of neglect, abuse and exploitation”, says UNICEF India’s chief Yasmin Haque.

Also ReadCovid Orphans Seven Children in Himachal So Far, To be Placed Under Foster Care

The announcement came after the Supreme Court asked the government to take measures to ensure their basic needs fulfilled. The apex court had also directed the government to identify children who have lost their parents or the family breadwinner following the nationwide lockdown imposed in March 2020.

“Children in need must be taken care of…Understand their agony and address their needs immediately,” a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose said on May 28, 2021. 

“The Covid pandemic has created an unprecedented situation and has a cascading effect on vulnerable children. Authorities must identify children who were orphaned due to the pandemic or otherwise and take steps to address their basic needs,” the bench had said.

Yesterday, the Central Government announced measures for such children who lost their parents due to Covid-19. 

Himachal Pradesh Government has also made announcements based on the PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.

Under the scheme, every such student would be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Yojna and the premium amount of these children would be paid by PM-CARES till they attain the age of 18 years.

The HP government claimed that under the Bal Seva Yojna, every such orphaned child would be provided Rs. 3500 per month out of which Rs. 2000 would be provided by the Central Government and Rs. 1500 by the State Government. The government would also give priority to admit such orphan children in Child Care Centres provided they are willing. Orphan girls would be given priority in admission in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas. The State Government would also provide Rs. 51000 to orphan girls under the Mukhyamantri Kanyadaan Yojna, the state government claimed. 

Provisions of the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme

All children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid 19 will be supported under the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.

 

  1. Fixed Deposit in the name of the child: PM CARES will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age. This corpus:
  • Will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend from 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and
  • On reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump sum for personal and professional use.

 

  1. School Education: For children under 10 years
  • The child will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or a private school as a day scholar.
  • If the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES.
  • PM-CARES will also pay for expenditure on the uniform, textbooks and notebooks.

 

  1. School Education: for children between 11-18 years:
  • The child will be given admission to any Central Government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc.
  • In case the child is to be continued under the care of Guardian/ grandparents/ extended family, then he or she will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or a private school as a day scholar.
  • If the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES.
  • PM CARES will also pay for expenditure on the uniform, textbooks and notebooks.
  1. Support for Higher Education:
  • The child will be assisted in obtaining an education loan for Professional courses / Higher Education in India as per the existing Education Loan norms. The interest on this loan will be paid by the PM CARES.
  • As an alternative, scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees/course fees for undergraduate/ vocational courses as per Government norms will be provided to such children under Central or State Government Schemes. For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.
  1. Health Insurance
  • All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakhs.
  • The premium amount for these children till the age of 18 years will be paid by PM CARES.

 

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HP By-Polls 2021: Silence Period Extended to Three Days

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Shimla-The campaigning period during Himachal Pradesh by-elections has been fixed from 10 am to 7 pm every day. The silence period has been extended from two days to three days before the closing date of voting, which will start after 6 pm on 27th October 2021.

During the no active campaigning by the candidates or political parties is allowed, and television or any digital media cannot carry any election-related matter.

This information was released by Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, C. Paulrasu. He said that the Election Commission of India has limited the period of campaigning during by-election 2021 in view of the guidelines issued for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged all the candidates and political parties participating in the by-elections of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki Assembly Constituencies to comply with these guidelines related to the election campaign.

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Nauni Varsity Scholar Naincy Bags Scholarship to Pursue PhD in France

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Solan: Naincy Sagar, an alumna of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has bagged a fellowship for pursuing PhD from France. Nancy has reached France and will be pursuing PhD in Forest Genetics from the University of Orléans under INRAE fellowship. INRAE is France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Naincy has completed her BSc Forestry from College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri in 2018 and MSc Forest Biology and Tree Improvement and Genetic Resources from UAS, Dharwad, under ICAR’s National Talent Scheme. Before leaving for France last week, Naincy was working as a Junior Research Fellow in a research project at COH&F, Neri.

She had applied for a PhD with a scholarship in Forest Genetics which was advertised by INRAE. Naincy was successful in the interview and was awarded a fellowship for three years for pursuing PhD at the University of Orléans. During the course of the PhD, she will receive a total scholarship of around Rs 70 lakh along with medical reimbursement. Naincy will be working on forest tree larch species in the Project titled ‘Vigour at what cost? ‘Trade-off’ of hybrid vigour in Larch-Phenological, morphological and physiological determinants of hybrid superiority in Larix X eurolepis’ with a team of 20 scientists of Joint Integrated Biology Research Unit having expertise in genetics, genomics and physiology for the enhancement of tree and forest diversity

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the university spoke to Naincy via web conferencing and congratulated her. Dr. Kaushal, who has also done his doctorate from France, shared some tips and suggestions. He asked Naincy to explore this opportunity to learn about new cultures along with doing research that could help to enhance and conserve forest wealth in the future.

Naincy expressed gratitude towards her father Satya Prakash Sagar (Retd. SDO BSNL) and mother Monika Sagar, who is working as SDO in BSNL for their continuous support for higher studies. She also thanked Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Dean Dr. Kamal Sharma and Dr. Dushyant Sharma, Project Investigator and all the university staff for their support and guidance. The university administration, Dean of COH&F Neri congratulated Naincy and wished her success.  

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Bad Weather Warning for Himachal, Tourists and Locals Advised Not to Venture into Higher Hills

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Shimla– The Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted heavy to very heavy rains for middle and lower hills on October 17th and 18th. The Met has also issued orange and yellow alerts for various districts.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall has been predicted in higher hills and advisory has been issued for both locals and tourists to avoid travelling to higher hills.

While a yellow alert with a prediction of thunderstorms and lightning at isolated places has been issued for Una and Hamirpur district on October 17, an orange alert with a prediction of heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places has been issued for Bilaspur, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, and Kinnaur.

For October 18, a yellow alert has been issued for Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Chamba, and Kullu districts and an orange alert for the remaining districts.

The Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul-Spiti, warned that in view of the Met Department’s forecast for the next two days, locals and tourists should avoid Manali-Leh National Highway (NH-03) and refrain from venturing into higher hills.

In case, travel is unavoidable due to some compelling circumstances, such candidates have been asked to confirm weather and road conditions on given telephone numbers, which are 9459661355, 01900-202509, 510, 517 and 1077.

The DC also informed that in case of any emergency, people should contact the District Disaster Management Cell, Lahaul-Spiti, on 01900 202509, 510, 517, and Tall Free -1077.

The weather is predicted to be dry on October 19 and 20. 

Feature Photo: Photo by Rodrigo Souza from Pexels

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